Coronavirus: Care Homes to get free PPE until March 2021

Department of Health is due to publish a plan, on 18 September 2020, to make PPE free for care homes until March 2021. The plan, which forms part of a government coronavirus plan for the winter, will also see a new chief nurse, whose role it will be to provide a ‘stronger voice’ for nurses working within the care sector, appointed.

The government has already promised care homes £546m to try to reduce transmission of the virus. This money is intended to help to pay care workers full wages when they are self-isolating and to help reduce the spread of the virus by ensuring that carers only work in one care home.

The BBC's social affairs correspondent Alison Holt said that the plan is important, that it recognises increasing supplies costs for the sector and that the role of ‘chief nurse’ is a significant one.

Concerns from within the industry have been raised however about the plan failing to address the need to pay care staff better and how the government plans to meet the expected increase in demand for care services over the winter.

The head of charity Age UK, Caroline Abrahams, said what she had seen of the plan was "promising"

"Although the devil will be in the detail, which we have not yet seen, on the face of it this plan seems to get some important things right," she said.

"The extra funding is welcome, though a little more would give us, and no doubt providers, more confidence that they will get through the next few months without a financial crisis."
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